In Budgeting, For Beginners, Money

More Money Tips For the Rest of Us

Biking or walking instead of taking the car saves gas, helps the environment and burns calories not money.

If you have a toddler like I do, it becomes an activity. Not everything has to be shiny and cool, just the simple wonders of a bus for a child is a big deal and a great outing.

You also don’t have to worry about parking and you will spend more time exploring the area on foot.

Buying seasonal items after the season has ended has scored me things up to 90% off. For instance, items that are Christmas-specific tend to go on deep discount the day after as retailers try to get rid of all of that excess inventory to make way for new stuff and to not have to pay to ship it back (it just isn’t worth the trouble).

I buy all of my Christmas wrapping and cards after Christmas is done, and try to get seasonally neutral items so I can use it for anything not just Christmas; by avoiding red and green combinations and overtly “Holiday-Like” themes, I’ve saved a bundle! Why spend more on seasonal stuff when you don’t have to?

Just get organized.

Know what a cheap, super thoughtful and always well-received present is? It is FOOD. Specifically homemade food. I would rather have a huge frozen stash of my mother’s best dishes made with love than anything she could buy for me.


Cooking is underrated and expresses the love and care for who you bake or cook for, while still being practical and useful for people who wouldn’t necessarily want to spend 4 hours preparing your signature Thai curry.

Sweets, homemade treats, these are always well-received and have a lot more thought put into them than something on a shelf.

Bonus? It is WAY cheaper too.

Reading instead of TV is far cheaper if you use the library, and frankly, I find it more enjoyable than TV watching. Of course, I love my staple shows but how many times have you been stuck watching an episode and commercials come on?

I usually just wait for the DVD or iTunes and don’t bother with commercials which helps cut down on consumerism as well. I don’t see things I want to eat or buy!

Reading also is very satisfying if you can get the right book in your hands. My ultimate suggestions for anyone (male, female, of any 18+ age) is:

These are engrossing, fantastic reads sure to grip your attention from start to finish.

Know what keeps people accountable for Goals?? Other people.

If you start mentioning to your sibling, or close friend that you want to do _____, they’ll ask you about it the next time and you’ll feel an urge to tell them how you’ve progressed.

This applies to anything not just money or fitness goals, even career aspirations! You can tap into your already supportive network and make sure you stay on track to conquer your dreams

Another good way to stay accountable is to blog about it.

Ever since I started blogging I’ve really been nailing more goals and feeling a bit of guilt which has propelled me to go farther.

Want to know how to start it and make money? .

Check out my book: Start a blog like a boss where I bring in over $1000 USD / month.

The minute you drive that brand new car off the lot, it has lost 1/3 of its value. It is a terrible investment to buy a brand new car and expect it to be worth the cost particularly if you live in a wintry climate that wobbles back and forth between hot and cold and where the snow, ice and salt wreaks havoc on the car over time.

Buy a car slightly used and it will always be a better deal not to mention cheaper than a brand new one.

Eating out should not be a habit for you. Even the cheapest meals cost at least $10-$15 each meal and that adds up quickly at the end of the month. You don’t even really appreciate the meal if you constantly eat out!

Make it a treat and save your wallet from destruction, not to mention trimming your waistline down as well. Go once a week for the social aspect with coworkers or as a family outing but don’t make it a normal habit.

I like to go once a week or every 2 weeks, even if it is dirt cheap so that I don’t get used to it and find it difficult to scale back if I need to start saving money.

Making your meals more plant based can reduce your waistline and trim your budget down significantly.

I’m not advocating to give it up completely but turn flexitarian if you can and eat like that before 6 p.m. and only have one meal a day that has any meat in it

Eat better, higher quality cuts less often, and appreciate it when you do.

I’ve noticed a big change in our budget ever since we have gone more vegan & vegetarian because meat costs MONEY. Vegetables are dirt cheap and if prepared well, with proper proteins from beans, you won’t feel hungry and soon, you may even prefer the vegan option like I do (I prefer vegan burgers to “real” ones!)

Rather than a vacation, have a staycation and relax in your own city like a tourist. Take the time to walk new neighbourhoods, explore the streets, have treats at new places and avoid the stress of travel for once.
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You could even plan to get things you are meaning to get around to, done!! Or do nothing at all and still dig into that great book without the worry of deadlines.
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Shut off your electronic devices and pretend they don’t exist for your staycation. Enjoy yourself at home and appreciate what you have instead of always trying to jet set off to some place else. Sometimes home is where the wanderlust heart is.

Do it yourself. Seriously. Learn how to use sewing tape hem to fix your hems, sew a button back on, and buy a very handy cheap tool that lets you punch new holes into belts or watches any time you want.

If you start to get super crafty you can also start studding your clothes to give them a fresh edge or re-paint or re-dye items for a new look!

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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Posted on November 26, 2015

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4 Comments

  1. Tania

    Great list, thank you! I do the walk instead of drive all the time. If I have to work on a Saturday, I’ll typically walk to do all my errands on an extra long midday break (dry cleaning, post office, drugstore, etc.). When I do have to drive, I try to group my errands together. Traffic is bad in Honolulu and I save a lot on gas by not doing an errand here and there but rather than attacking all one trip. I need to be better about reducing my eating out, for health/weight as well as financial benefits. While I love reading magazines, I try to read more books. There is a certain level of satisfaction of finishing a book (I always enjoy doing the annual reading challenge on Goodreads each year). I do find reading magazines makes me want things that aren’t “me”. I still get tempted to shop in other ways but find I make wardrobe purchases that suit me more for the long term and support smaller makers if I’m not influenced by magazines.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      There is a real satisfaction to reading a good book and I’ve gotten back into that this month. I have really been powering through some novels, and excited to share my finds 🙂

      Reply
  2. LynninRI

    Our family tradition is to only exchange gifts we have made as none of us truly “need” anything. Every summer I go blueberry picking, strawberry picking, crabapple picking and then make various jams and jellies. My sister is an amazing cookie baker – she makes dozens of cookies and packages them for the freezer. My Mom makes pickles or relish. Our gift exchanges are delicious! All of these things take time and some money but are gifts that are used and appreciated. I agree that food gifts are wonderful….

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Food is the best thing to give. Easily consumable (or given away) and always appreciated (effort wise).

      Reply

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